ALEXANDRE MATHERON PDF

Dordrecht etc. In dat blog had ik ook de TOC, die ik hier nog eens breng. Spinoza and the Sciences. This collection, volume 91 in the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science series, contains twelve essays, five of which were originally presented at a sesquitercentenary symposium on "Spinoza and the Sciences" held under the auspices of the Boston Colloquium for the Philosonhv of Science. It also includes an introduction by Marjorie Grene and an annotated bibliography by Debra Nails.

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Related Entries 1. The confessional rifts of the seventeenth century were certainly an important part of context in which Spinoza composed his Tractatus Theologico-Politicus [hereafter: TTP]. The early part of the seventeenth century was marked by a religious schism that rapidly took on political significance. The Arminians, or Remonstrants, defended religious toleration on the grounds that faith is expressed in the conscience of the individual, and so is not subject to the coercive power of the state.

The doctrinal and political views of the Remonstrants were opposed by the conservative Gomarists followers of Franciscus Gomarus , or Counter-Remonstrants. For a little over a decade roughly — , the dispute raged on, expanding outward from Holland and Utrecht.

Finally, in , a national synod convened the Synod of Dort to define the public faith more clearly. The fallout from the Synod of Dort was disastrous for the tolerant Arminians.

The Advocate of the States of Holland, Johan Oldenbarnevelt, who staunchly defended the Remonstrants, was put to death. And Arminians throughout the country were purged from town councils and universities Israel , ff.

The second half of the century witnessed its own major theologico-political dispute in the United Provinces. At the center, once again, were two theologians: Johannes Cocceius, a liberal theology professor at Leiden, and Gisbertus Voetius, Dean of the University of Utrecht. Disputes between Cocceian and Voetians began over abstruse theological matters, but developed into a larger political and cultural affair. The Voetians led the assault on the Cartesian philosophy being taught in the universities.

They thought that the new science advocated by Descartes, with its mechanistic view of the material world, posed a threat to Christianity in a variety of ways Nadler , —2 and — Spinoza was no stranger to religious persecution. As is well known, he was himself excommunicated from the Jewish community in Amsterdam in While Spinoza apparently endured the excommunication with characteristic equanimity, fellow Dutch apostate Jew, Uriel da Costa, was unable to bear the indignity of excommunication from the Amsterdam Jewish community.

In —when Spinoza was only eight years old—da Costa, who had denied the immortality of the soul and challenged the status of the Torah as divine revelation, took his own life. In Koerbagh published two treatises that provoked the wrath of the Calvinist clergy.

In the more scandalous of the two—Een Bloemhof van allerley lieflijkheyd A Flower Garden of all Kinds of Loveliness —Koerbagh ridiculed a number of traditional religious doctrines and practices, and, in the process, articulated his own religious and metaphysical views. Among the shocking views that he advanced were that Jesus is not divine, that God is identical with nature, that everything is necessitated by the laws of nature the laws of God , and that miracles are impossible.

These are all positions that Spinoza consistently endorsed. However, while Spinoza was famously cautious, Koerbagh was not, publishing the works in Dutch thereby making them accessible to the general literate public under his own name. Consequently, Koerbagh was tried and sentenced on charges of blasphemy.

During his subsequent imprisonment under squalid conditions Koerbagh became ill. He died soon thereafter in Liberal republicans were dealt a major blow in In this so-called disaster year rampjaar , French troops, under the command of Louis XIV, invaded the United Provinces, capturing a number of Dutch cities Nadler , Grand Pensionary chief statesman and legal advisor Johan de Witt shouldered much of the blame for this military embarrassment. De Witt was the leader of the States of Holland for much of the republican period that followed the death of Stadholder a quasi-monarchical position held by the House of Orange William II in Shortly afterward he and his brother, Cornelis, were brutally killed by a zealous mob.

This incident evoked uncommon anger in Spinoza, who was an admirer of de Witt and the republican ideals for which he stood. Van den Enden was an ex-Jesuit and radical egalitarian with revolutionary tendencies.

He was put to death in after having been found guilty of conspiring to depose Louis XIV in order to establish a free republic in Normandy. Van dan Enden was an anti-clerical democrat who appears to have profoundly influenced Spinoza.

We know that Spinoza read De Cive carefully and that it was among his possessions when he died in Here I want to mention the impact of Dutch Hobbesians on Spinoza. Hobbesian thought was introduced into Dutch political discourse by Lambert van Velthuysen, an anti-clerical, liberal physician Tuck ; Blom Aside from Velthuysen, the other primary Dutch conduits for Hobbesian thought prior to Spinoza were the De la Court brothers Petry ; Kossmann However, because it remains unclear how much Pieter added and how much he took credit for the work his studious younger brother, I will refer to these authors of these writings simply as the De la Courts, so as to avoid attribution problems.

Indeed, De Witt is thought to have written two chapters in the second edition of their book Interest van Holland see Petry , According to them, the aim of the state is to ensure that the interests of rulers are tied to the interests of the ruled, which is possible only if one adopts a series of institutional measures, such as the use of blind balloting, the removal of hereditary posts, and the rotation of offices.

Republics, they argued, will be marked by greater checks against self-interested legislation than monarchies see Blom Spinoza evidently studied these works carefully; his institutional recommendations in the Tractatus Politicus [hereafter: TP] reflect his debt to the De la Courts Petry ; Haitsma Mulier It was likely the writings of the De la Courts that impressed upon Spinoza the perspicacity of Niccolo Machiavelli.

The notion of balancing the interests of competing parties was ultimately derived from Machiavelli see Haitsma Mulier , — Machiavelli, The Prince I. Spinoza, like Machiavelli, understood that prescriptions for improving the governance of a state can be offered only after one has a proper diagnosis of the problems and a proper grasp of human nature see Steinberg a. Collectively, these three claims entail that human behavior, like the behavior of everything else, is fully necessitated by, and explicable through, the immutable—and non-providential—laws of God or Nature.

This forms a significant part of the metaphysical backdrop against which Spinoza develops his political theory. This naturalism led him to adopt bold views about the source and status of rights, obligations, and laws that distinguished his work from that of other seventeenth-century political theorists.

This is a direct rebuke not only of defenders of the divine right of kings, but also of most accounts of natural rights as entitlements that were embraced by many seventeenth-century theorists. Moreover, this naturalism also rules out the possibility of a normative order of things, or a way that things should be, distinct from the actual order of things. This undermines the teleological assumptions that form the basis of natural law theory, whether Thomistic or Protestant. Even those who wished to separate natural law from theology e.

According to this view, humans act contrary to nature when they act contrary to the prescriptions of right reason. In both of these passages, Spinoza criticizes the assumption that man is governed by his own set of rational, normative laws, rather than the laws that govern the rest of nature.

In short, by adopting the view that nature is univocal and that man is governed by the same laws as everything else in nature, Spinoza rejects the natural law tradition Curley ; A. Garrett ; for contrasting views, see Kisner and Miller He introduces this concept in TTP 16, where he boldly writes: By the right and order of nature I merely mean the rules determining the nature of each individual thing by which we conceive it is determined naturally to exist and to behave in a certain way.

For example fish are determined by nature to swim and big fish to eat little ones, and therefore it is by sovereign natural right that fish have possession of the water and that big fish eat small fish.

For it is certain that nature, considered wholly in itself, has a sovereign right to do everything that it can do, i. TTP 16, ; cf. In claiming that the right of nature is coextensive with the power of nature and that this applies mutatis mutandis to the individuals in nature, Spinoza is simply rejecting non-naturalism, rather than making a positive normative claim.

In fact, I take it that the coextensivity thesis is not to be understood as offering a new normative standard; rather, it is intended as a denial of any transcendental standard of justice see Curley , ; Balibar , In other words, natural right is the liberty to do anything consistent with the natural law ibid. In short, as A. Specifically, it covers those actions that are not contrary to the law of nature. In Leviathan, however, Hobbes seems to advance an account of natural right that is apparently not bound by such normative constraints Ch.

But while it may seem that in the later work Hobbes strips the concept of natural right of all normative content, even the view expressed in Leviathan may be seen to be at odds with a thoroughgoing naturalism. Hobbes thinks that we incur binding obligations when we make pledges under the appropriate conditions.

To demand otherwise would be absurd, since men are bound by nature to choose what appears to be the greater good or lesser evil. We are bound by nature to act on our strongest interest and cannot be obligated by previous agreements to break this inviolable psychological law of nature.

If a sovereign is to maintain its right, it must legislate wisely, so as not to incite insurrection. But given his naturalism and repudiation of rights and obligations as traditionally understood, one might be left wondering how or whether Spinoza could offer a normative political theory at all.

And just as the individual ought to do those things that maximize his or her own power or welfare, Spinoza takes it as axiomatic that the state ought to do those things that maximize the power of the people as a whole e.

The Tractatus Theologico-Politicus As indicated above, throughout the seventeenth century the United Provinces were torn apart by disputes concerning, among other things, the political authority of the church. The stated goals of this work were to parry charges of atheism Spinoza was hilariously unsuccessful in this respect , to oppose the prejudices of the theologians, and to defend the freedom to philosophize Epistle My exposition of the political claims of the TTP will focus on the last two goals.

This will be followed by an analysis of the role of the social contract in the TTP. Through careful linguistic and historical exegesis Spinoza identifies numerous textual inconsistencies, which, with some philosophical buttressing, lead Spinoza to deny the exalted status of prophets, the objective reality of miracles, and ultimately the divine origin of the Pentateuch. We may call the claim that faith is distinct from reason the separation thesis and the claim that religious law is dependent on and determined by civil law the single authority thesis.

And a good deal of the biblical criticism in the TTP can be understood as paving the way for the separation thesis, since in the earlier chapters much of what Spinoza is doing is undermining the claim of Scripture as a source of genuine knowledge. Rather, it lies in the simple moral truths that Scripture contains, which encourage obedience to the state Ch. The books of Scripture are written for an unsophisticated, uneducated audience and convey information in a way that is suited to such an audience, in the form of fantastical accounts and parables that appeal to the imagination rather than the intellect.

This ethical understanding of religion is reflected in the way that Spinoza re-conceives of several crucial religious concepts.

For instance, he claims that a text is sacred to the extent that it fosters devotion to God and charity to others e.

Since the aim of religion is obedience and good works, and the aim of philosophy is truth, religion and philosophy ought not to be seen as rivals. According to Spinoza, because reason and faith have separate domains, neither is subservient to the other.

The separation thesis has profound political import, since by claiming that religion is not, like philosophy, a source of knowledge, Spinoza undercuts the grounds for the theological disputes that were the source of considerable unrest in the Dutch Republic. The dominant message of the separation thesis is that Scripture is not the source of metaphysical knowledge and so we ought not to treat it as authoritative in these matters.

Like Hobbes, he embraces the Erastian position that religious law is realized through the will of the civil authority TTP, Ch. The crux of the single authority thesis is this: the sovereign is the sole civil and religious authority. The obvious, yet important, implication of the single authority thesis is that clerics are at best spiritual advisors with no real claim to political power. The problem of dual allegiances divine and civil is overcome, since the two authorities converge in the form of the sovereign.

The argument against ecclesiastical power here depends upon the supposition that there is no transcendental standard of piety. Of course, a sovereign could delegate authority to religious functionaries, but Spinoza cautions against this, using the case of the Hebrews to illustrate the dangers of priestly authority.

The decisive turn that precipitated the decline of the first Hebrew state came with the ascendance of a priestly order.

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Alexandre Matheron, Spinoza al presente

Related Entries 1. The confessional rifts of the seventeenth century were certainly an important part of context in which Spinoza composed his Tractatus Theologico-Politicus [hereafter: TTP]. The early part of the seventeenth century was marked by a religious schism that rapidly took on political significance. The Arminians, or Remonstrants, defended religious toleration on the grounds that faith is expressed in the conscience of the individual, and so is not subject to the coercive power of the state. The doctrinal and political views of the Remonstrants were opposed by the conservative Gomarists followers of Franciscus Gomarus , or Counter-Remonstrants.

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Feminist Interpretations of Benedict Spinoza. In the context of Jewish studies, this volume deserves particular attention because it resituates Spinoza as a critical thinker of the body, identity, and human nature, whose critical significance for rethinking Jewishness, individuality, and difference is yet to be fully understood in its full ramifications. The essays demonstrate that the liberating potential of Spinoza, when applied in a sophisticated way to the questions of gender and identity, assumes critical importance to related debates in Jewish studies. The contributions to this volume suggest that as Spinoza aligns with strands of Jewish philosophical traditions, a fresh look at his thought no longer allows critics to simply excommunicate him from the historiography of Jewish history. This has crucial consequences for the way Spinoza understands freedom, autonomy, and self-determination. Similarly, the concepts of interiority and exteriority are relationally reconfigured. Viewed this way, love emerges in Spinoza as a creative force with emancipatory implications and thus is outside the traditional scheme of historically questionable forms of gendering.

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Alexandre Matheron on Militant Reason and the Intellectual Love of God

See Matheron It is not to envision precarious enlargement of reason; from the level of duration to the 3 Sartre See also Matheron , p. For more on the affinities between Spinoza and Sartre, see Rizk Matheron suggests that his perspective was only a passing phase of 6 In these respects, Matheron has made common cause with Martial Gueroult and Gilles youthful enthusiasm, whereas I take up the challenge to make good on an unfulfilled promise. See Suhamy and Vinciguerra

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